Outdoor Articles

Basic Trout Fishing Tactics

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Trout Fishing

It’s always a good idea to learn new tips and tactics that may help you catch more fish while fishing, and in the case of this article, more trout while trout fishing. In this article I’m going to discuss some basic trout fishing tactics, all of which I’ve been using to catch trout for more than 20 years. These basic trout fishing tactics are the kind that never go out of style, and will enable you to be a much better trout angler. Keep in mind that these tactics will work for almost any fish that swims in the flowing waters of rivers and streams throughout the country, but they work especially well on trout.

Before I get into any details, let’s start with your rod, reel, and line. If you’re planning on going trout fishing, make sure that you’re using a rod and reel that are light action at the heaviest. I prefer ultra light action rods and reels for trout fishing, but light action is also tolerable. Anything heavier than light action, should not be used for trout fishing. How about your fishing line? Again, for trout fishing, no line heavier than 6 lb. test should be used. As far as fishing line is concerned, I prefer four pound test, but again, six pound is tolerable. Anything heavier than six pound test should not be used. Fish, and especially trout, is most river and stream situations are very light sensitive and can detect fishing line in the water, which will result in many less bites if your line is too heavy. Now that we have that worked out, let’s move onto some of the basic trout fishing tactics.

  • Efficiency – The first basic trout fishing tactic is to be as efficient as possible. The more time that can be spent with our line is the water, the better, and one of the best ways to spend moirĂ© time with your line in the water is through the use of a bait bag. A bait bag is simply a small bag that carries your bait while fishing. A bait bag is especially good for live worms. This way you don’t have to waste valuable fishing time searching for your bait. Instead it’s always right there at your fingertips whenever you need it. A bait bag will save you a ton of time and help you catch more trout. I’ve been using one for years and wouldn’t even consider fishing without it.
  • Bait Presentation – Bait presentation is crucial for all fishing, but especially trout fishing in river and stream situations. My favorite bait is live worms, and the best tactic for presenting live worms in a natural manner is through the use of gang hooks. If you don’t know what gang hooks are, you need to educate yourself. Gang hooks are simply a pair of small hooks tied in tandem that enable live bait (especially live worms) to be presented naturally. Think about it. What does a live worm look like in nature? Well, a set of gang hooks enables you to present a worm outstretched so that it looks like it does in nature, rather than like a “worm ball”. Presenting live bait (especially live worms) naturally is a basic trout fishing tactic that many anglers overlook.
  • Bottom Is Your Friend – Bottom is your friend when fishing for trout in river and stream situations. Bouncing your live bait off of the bottom, as it flows naturally downstream is a deadly trout fishing tactic. I’ve always found that this works best with live worms, but baits like meal worms, minnows, and crayfish are effective as well. When bouncing your bait off of the bottom, snags will occur. It’s just a part of trout fishing. As my mentor used to tell me, “if you’re not getting snagged, you’re not fishing in the right place.”.

These basic trout fishing tactics will enable you to catch more trout almost immediately. The only thing that’s required of you is a little practice. The more you begin to employ these tactics, the more proficient you will become. And the more proficient you become, the more trout you will catch. And as I eluded to earlier, these tactics work the same for most fish that swim in the flowing water of rivers and streams, not just trout.

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